Movie Review – Men In Black 3 (2012)

Year of Release: 2012

*ing: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Emma Thompson

Verdict: 2.5/5

Even before you hit the theatre, you know what to expect from the MIB series – weird looking aliens, memory erasing devices and some fine stunts. So how does MIB-3 differ from this staple diet? Read on..

Although I watched the 3rd part without having watched the 2nd, it wasn’t difficult to catch up. This instalment doesn’t only include aliens, some cool tech & incredible action but has an extra dimension thrown in; that of ‘time travel’ – a facet every human has been fascinated with since the beginning of time.

So we start with aliens (but of course) and some lovely banter between Agent J (Will Smith) & Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones/Josh Brolin) which shows how strong a bond both share without spelling it out in obvious words. K is embroiled in a plethora of secrets that J wouldn’t be let on (which are obviously revealed later in the movie). Anywho, a cool alien fight later we learn about an evil alien (Boris The Animal) who escaped from the jail on Moon to take revenge from Agent K for his broken arm. The very next day J wakes up and starts about his daily routine only to find that there is some lapse in his time line and that K has been dead over 40 years. He also discovers that the Boris’ race never became extinct and are planning to invade the Earth.

This is when he decides to go back in time to 1969 so as to save his partner and make sure that Boris The Animal dies and their race becomes extinct so that planet earth doesn’t face any threat in the future. It is now that the movie becomes exciting. We get to experience the olden days with some cool and funny quips thrown in by “J from the future”. We also get to see K and how different he was in the past. The rest of the story although predictable (good prevails, evil dies, secrets revealed, happy endings) is saved from boredom by some funny and witty dialogues and some cool action sequences. And as is the case with any sci-fi movie, the special effects definitely help.

When MIB originally came out it was a lot cooler since there weren’t that many other sci-fi cool movies releasing (at least in India). But now that Hollywood is queuing up to release their movies in Bollywood even before they hit theatres there, we are getting to see some much cooler and edge of the seat action movies than ever before. And honestly MIB-3 pales in comparison. Although the lead actors have done justice to their roles, the movie in general is just another passing affair. But you can definitely give it a watch since no other major movie has released this weekend – a big plus for MIB-3.

Trivia:

Movie Review – Hereafter (2010)

Year of Release: 2010

Stars:  Matt DamonCécile De France and Bryce Dallas Howard

Verdict: 2.75 / 5

The biggest and the most primal fear that a human mind has is that of death. Despite it being a certainty we tend to put it off and not think about it which actually does us a favor: it helps us Live! As Matt Damon says in the movie – “A life all about death; is no life at all.”

Hereafter has parallel stories running that are bound by a common thread which is death. All the tracks have characters that have either experienced death or have lost close ones to death. The movie shows us that death isn’t as scary as believed to be and that one has to put it behind so as to move on and live life.

Track no. 1 is about a French couple who were a victim of the Tsunami in Thailand. The girl dies and miraculously comes back to life and has a vision thereafter. Track no. 2 is of two twin brothers who share an extremely strong bond. Their track progresses when the older brother dies and the younger one tries all the psychic means possible to talk to his dead sibling. Track no. 3 is about a blue-collar worker who was once a great psychic and has a gift (or curse as he calls it) to communicate with the dead.

All three of them are battling with their own issues, French woman with her vision and seeking answers for the same, the boy with moving on in life & the man with living his life and the loneliness his gift/curse has ensued.

But the central and the most important character is played by ‘Destiny’ in the movie. Nope destiny isn’t just a name of yet another character. The parallel stories are brought together at one place by the mysterious ways of destiny. This leaves you thinking that no matter what you wanted to do or intended to achieve, destiny takes you exactly where you are supposed to be. In the end, everything is ok and in its place. A beautiful Arabic worddescribes the phenomenon – Maktub : It’s all written!

Not a spectacular movie but a feel good time pass.

Trivia:

  • IMDB Rating – 6.7 / 10
  • Filming shut down for a month in December 2009, as Matt Damon was filming The Adjustment Bureau.
  • In a February 2010 interview with the UK’s ‘Daily Telegraph’, Clint Eastwood described “Hereafter” as “…three different stories with people who have gone through some sort of stressful time and it’s about how they sort of converge together. Much like a lot of French movies have been in the past, where the stories kind of converge together, and destiny drives each person towards the other.”
  • Supporting actor Sarah Jane O’Neill (Rehab Patient) claims to be a real-life psychic and a world renowned Paranormal Investigator.
  • Several biographies describe how Clint Eastwood was stranded offshore in the ocean several days after his Navy training plane crashed. The experience is probably what helped him film the tsunami scene in Hereafter.
  • Shipped to theaters under the title “Heaven’s Playground”.
  • The trailer for the film features the song Lullaby performed by Sia Furler – written bySamuel Dixon and Sia Furler
  • The movie was pulled from theaters in Japan after the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit in March 2011.

Movie Review – Being John Malkovich (1999)

I was really intrigued by the title of this movie and when I got to know the premise I knew I had to watch this one. And am I glad that I did 🙂

A bit of fantasy thrown in with some really good acting makes for a good watch. It is about a puppeteer who has no career and no opportunities to make one. He finally decides to join a company as a filer (largely due to insistence by his wife) on the 7 & 1/2 floor of a building. Herein he discovers a portal that literally changes his life. The secret door leads directly into the actor John Malkovich’s head.

It is definitely a one-time watch that will keep you glued till the end though the ending of the movie is a little disappointing. Good acting by all the actors.

Trivia:

  • IMDB Rating – 7.9/10
  • John Cusack actually took some marionette-puppeteering lessons in order to prepare for the film
  • John Malkovich‘s real middle name is Gavin – in the movie, his character’s middle name is Horatio.
  • According to the script, the song intended to be played over the closing credits was “Put Your Hand Inside the Puppethead” by They Might Be Giants.
  • Charlie Kaufman sent the screenplay to Francis Ford Coppola after he wrote it. Coppola liked it very much and showed it to his daughter’s husband, Spike Jonze. Jonze liked the screenplay so much that he approached Kaufman about directing the movie.
  • The original script has Kevin Bacon in place of Charlie Sheen, as Malkovich‘s actor friend.
  • A fictional behind-the-scenes glimpse of the making of this movie appears in screenwriterCharlie Kaufman‘s subsequent movie, Adaptation. (2002).
  • Writer / director Spike Jonze claimed in an interview that when he was shopping the screenplay around Hollywood, at least one unspecified producer asked if he could possibly rewrite the film as “Being Tom Cruise“.
  • John Malkovich was approached about this film several times and loved the script, but he and his production crew felt that another actor would fit the role better. Malkovich offered to help produce the film, and aid Spike Jonze in any way, but refused to star in it. Eventually after a couple of years Malkovich’s will was worn down and he agreed to star in the film.
  • In a radio interview writer Charlie Kaufman explained that while pitching John Malkovichthe story, Kaufman was informed, much to his surprise, that Malkovich lived at the time in a Manhattan apartment located on the 7th 1/2 floor.

Movie Review – Stranger Than Fiction (2006)

I was drawn to the movie considering its different plot. But sadly, it didn’t live completely up to the expectations.

This is a story about an IRS Agent, Harold, who begins to hear a narration about his own life. Initially baffled, he takes the help of a psychiatrist but to no avail. Tragedy strikes when the narrator mentions about Harold’s imminent and impending death. This prompts him to take the help of a literary professor, Jules Hilbert, to make some sense of this weird situation.

Professor Hilbert tells Harold that he cannot control the fate and that only the narrator has the power to decide when and how his life would end, and therefore suggest that he re-examine and live his life fully and do the things that he always wanted to do.

Harold accidentally discovers who the narrator is and must find the author to change the ending of her story to keep him from dying.

This movie has received good rating on IMDB, which I personally don’t think is justified really. The movie keeps you glued till the end just because you are curious to find out how the story will end and how will Harold die. If it wasn’t for the curiosity, i wouldn’t have really been interested till the end. And the ending totally disappoints and makes the whole movie just pointless.

Watch it if you have no other better movie with you and want to watch one which will keep you glued till the end.

Trivia:

  • IMDB Rating – 7.8/10
  • Metascore – 67/100
  • The watch featured in the movie is a Timex Men’s Watch #T56371 – Ironman Triathlon 42 Lap Combo Dual Tech, though in the film, the watches LCD display is CG enhanced to present clearer graphics. The actual watch is a simple 9 segment per character LCD alphanumeric mode display with three lines and some special-indicators.
  • The guitar chosen by Harold is a Fender Stratocaster.
  • The name of Ana Pascal’s bakery is “The Uprising”.
  • While filming, Will Ferrell had an earpiece that fed him Emma Thompson‘s narrative line in order to assist the other actors react more naturally to Ferrell’s seemingly non-sequitur lines.
  • The film borrows heavily from ‘Niebla’ by Miguel de Unamuno, a Spanish novel about a character who becomes aware he is being narrated by a writer and goes to visit him. However, in Unamuno’s story, the main character commits suicide.